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A Guide to Breeding

As all horses die in their early to mid 20’s in Photo Finish Live, it is critical that you learn to breed so your stable is sustainable long term. The best horses in the game do not exist yet, they will be bred. YOU can breed the next grand champion.

This guide will provide a high level on how to breed but will not go into the finest of details in part because there is a lot of strategy and skill to breeding and part of the fun is figuring that out. But to get a taste of some of the philosophy behind breeding, give this top player’s article a read.

Important Notes

  1. “Seasons” are four in real life weeks long. Your horse ages one year per season.
  2. Your horse must be retired in order to breed. Once retired, it can no longer race so when to retire is a highly strategic decision. Horses can be retired as early as age 3 and are force retired at age 9.
  3. Your horse can breed until it dies in its early 20’s.
  4. Studs can breed 35 times per season and are paid for that right.
  5. Mares can breed once per season and keep the foal. They must pay a stud for the right to breed.
  6. There is a one week breeding window starting the second day of each season. New foals for the week are born the first day of each season and can race two seasons later at age two.
  7. There is a lot of variance in breeding. If you breed the same stud and mare 10 times, you’ll get 10 different foals.
  8. When you make a stud available in the marketplace, anyone can breed with it and they pay a 20% fee to the game on top of your asking price. It is possible to breed “in house” for 8,000 DERBY.
  9. The game started with B- to S+ horses. The best (and worst) horses in this game will be bred over time. It’s anyone game!

How to Breed a Stud

Step 1 — Go to the “My Stable” tab at the left then select the stud you want to retire. Remember, he can no longer race once you retire him. Click on the retire horse button:

Step 2 — Once you retire the stud, you then need to send him to the breeding barn. Click on the “Put Out To Stud” button:

Step 3 — Enter the price you want to charge per breeding session. If you’re not sure how much to charge, go to the “breeding” tab at the left and search for horses similar to yours in grade and stats and price yourself accordingly. Once you click the “add listing” button, that’s it, your stud is now available to breed with.

How To Breed a Mare

Step 1 — Retire the filly just like you’d retire a stud. Again, they will never be able to race again.

Step 2 — Go to “My Stable” and click on the Mare you want to breed. Pay specific attention to its grade, stats, and preferences. Most of the time, you do not want to breed with a stud that is lower in grade or has worse stats. As you can see below, this mare is A grade LTS (left turning, Turf, Soft preferences). So when weclick “breed horse” we’ll be looking to find a similar or hopefully better stud for a fair price.

Step 3 — You’ll be redirected to the breeding barn where all the studs are. As wewant to breed with a LTS stud, we’re now going to click on the filter button and set those preferences:

Step 4 — Using the filter above, wecan see all the LTS studs, their grade, stats, and how much they’re charging to breed with. Wewant to find a grade A or higher stud with better stats at a fair price.

Based upon all the results, we selected the A grade horse below. Two A’s bred together can occasionally result in an A+ but we’d be perfectly happy with an A with improved preferences and underlying stats. On very rare occasion, we’ve seen two horses of the same grade breed a foal that jumped two sub grades (meaning the foal would be an S- in this example).

It’s not uncommon for players to not focus so much on the preferences but breed with the highest grade they can afford with good underlying stats. What is the best strategy? That’s for you to determine.

Step 5 — Once you select the stud you want to breed with, it’ll take you to a confirmation page that shows a ton of stats for both horses. Be sure to check the bloodline and check to make sure you’re not inbreeding.

Inbreeding in Photo Finish Live results in a severe penalty (your foal will be worse than the parents). You cannot share parents going back FOUR generations otherwise there will be a penalty so be careful!

Step 6 — Once you’re comfortable, confirm the breed and that’s it! Your foal will be born at the start of next season.

As always, if you have any questions, please ask on the Photo Finish Live Discord server.

Breeding Tips

A. Most people will not breed with a grade A or lower stud that has low preferences (less than 8). You’re likely better off trying to get some money out of them racing.

B. It IS possible to switch preferences. For example, if you breed a LTS horse with a LDF horse, you may end up with a LTF horse. You might want to experiment with this at some point.

C. Let’s say you’re looking to make your foal a better sprinter and at present, you horse is an A with A start, A+ speed. If you can find a horse to breed with that has A+ start, A+ speed, the chances of the foal being a better sprinter is increased. Point being, think about stats and how to improve those to meet the goals you have for your future horse.

D. Breeding reports are very useful.

Genetics

Photo Finish™ LIVE is extremely true to life when it comes to breeding. Foals in Photo Finish™ LIVE get from their parents the same thing that foals in real life get from their parents: Genes!

Every horse in Photo Finish™ LIVE is composed of two sets of genes: one from their father (stud) and one from their mother (mare). When combined, the genes from each side pair up and produce traits in the foal.

These traits define everything about the new horse. Some gene pairs determine how fast it is, others determine how well it turns, and others decide if it’s spotted.

When you breed your new foal, the stud and the mare each pass on half of their genes to the foal. But, here’s where it gets complicated. Remember how the stud and the mare are also composed of two sets of genes that combine to make their traits? They only pass on one gene from each combination when they pass their genes on.

Imagine that the stud is incredibly quick out of the gate (He has a great Start attribute). A bunch of genes are paired together to create that great Start attribute. He can’t pass on those pairs when he passes on his genes. He only passes on half of each combination; the other half comes from the mother. Together, each half pairs to make the foal’s Start attribute.

Suppose the mother has a great Start, the foal will, too. It could even be better if the parents pass on the best of their genes. However, no one can directly control the breeding. The best you can do is pick a partner with good traits to pass on as hundreds of genes produce each foal. There is literally over a trillion possible combinations!

These genes determine traits like:

  • How a horse runs
  • What it looks like
  • What tracks does it prefer
  • How it ages
  • And plenty more

Luckily, you don’t need to know every gene. Breeding in PFL is as simple as owning a mare, picking a stud, and waiting till the foal is born. And with that said, you’re now ready to begin your journey to become one of the world’s great virtual horse breeders.

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